Companies Find that Corporate Finishing School is a Business Necessity

Corporate etiquette errors made by new hires have pushed organizations to invest in training before mistakes are made.

Port Tobacco, MD, August 27, 2006 --( The new hire came to work in a belly shirt and flip flops.

The new hire left the office for 20 minutes while he was supposed to be answering the phones at the front desk.

The new hire asked the vice president when she could expect a promotion. She’s only worked here three week.

Comments such as those could be coming from the mouths of businesspeople almost everywhere these days as the millennial generation enters the workforce en mass. Are these kids just crazy, or is something else going on?

Kate Zabriskie, the founder of the soft-skills training company Business Training Works, Inc., explains, “What was once common sense is no longer that common. The problems we see range from inappropriate cell phone use to inappropriate office party behavior. The good news is many companies are doing something about it.”

Organizations both large and small have called on Zabriskie and her team of instructors to prepare new hires for the working world before they make career-limiting blunders that could embarrass themselves and the companies they work for.

“Our course is called ‘Work Experience: How to Act So People Think You Have It,’” says Zabriskie. “We’ve spent the last five years working with all sorts of organizations to identify common problems, and we’ve synthesized the learning points into a solid training program. Our goal is to flatten the learning curve and save new hires from the many mistakes their peers will probably make.”

If you are in one of the firm’s sessions, don’t be surprised to hear some straightforward, no-nonsense advice such as one of the following tidbits:

* You’re not in a dorm. You are in an office. Nonverbal messages such as posture and dress impact how others see you. Pay attention to what’s going on in your environment. In most workplaces, you should cover tattoos, ditch excessive jewelry, and keep flamboyance to a minimum.
* Bring a pen and a notebook to every meeting you attend; then avoid the urge to doodle or otherwise look distracted. You are an adult, not a Disney Princess. Hello Kitty, pink paper, or other cutesy stationery supplies should be left at home.
* If you don’t know that different forks have different purposes or if you don’t care, you should. Table manners still count, and you never know who may be watching you.


Business Training Works, Inc. is an onsite training company specializing in instructor-led, soft skills training. The firm partners with organizations to help people improve the basic skills essential to business success: communication, writing, business etiquette, negotiation, self-management, etc. 
Business Training Works, INc.
Kate Zabriskie